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Old 04-03-2007, 07:18 PM   #31
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I think it's quite a stretch to assume that her parents are out to "save" and/or insult Jewish people, and I'm sure there must be Jewish people in Alabama.

I agree that it is subjecting that girl to teasing etc. She can be involved in her church but to have her do that around school is only going to cause her problems. She'd be better off doing charity work or something like that and spreading her message in that way.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:08 PM   #32
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Michaela Bloodgood v. Liverpool Central School District (.pdf)

The flyers didn't say to 'ask me about Jesus', and actually the article MrsS posted is a little misleading about the family's history with the flyers--apparently the three occasions where they sought to distribute them involved three different flyers (the first of which did in fact get distributed; her teacher didn't find out about it until a week later, at which point she was told she couldn't do that again). Also, the examples of previously permitted flyers (camps, theater productions, etc.) cited in the article had all been distributed according to a school district policy where they were submitted for review to the Assistant Superintendent first, then distributed to all students by the teachers; this policy was explained to the girl's mother through a series of exchanges between her and the Superintendent's office, but she declined to submit them for distribution by the school. The policy forbids distribution of material "primarily of a proprietary nature" and refers to what may be allowed only in terms of "non-profit community based organizations". Apparently this was the first time (in that school district) a student had ever sought to randomly distribute flyers on their own, as well as the first time a student had sought to distribute religious material.

This is text of the first flyer she passed out:
Quote:
JESUS SAVES!!

Hi! I am Michaela and would like to tell you about Jesus Christ and God His Father.

1. God sent his son (Jesus Christ) to come down on Earth and die on the cross for our sins.
2. God loves us so much he made a way for us to get to Heaven (which is why he sent his son here to die on a cross).
3. Here is a verse from the Bible for you to read: (In Romans 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”
4. I am going to ask you to please take the time to pray the simplest prayer (which can be like) Dear Lord Jesus, please forgive me, I am a sinner and don’t want to die and burn in a pit of fire for an eternity! Please come into my heart and by my personal Lord and Savior. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen.
The second flyer, which was confiscated by the teacher when she brought it to school, was a mass-produced children’s booklet called Cleo which "analogizes the recovery of a lost dog to Christian salvation, and had her church’s name stamped on the back." It was at that point that the mother began interacting with the Superintendent's office about the issue.

This is the text of the third flyer, that time the mother asked for permission first to let her daughter distribute it, which was declined as not in accord with the district policy:
Quote:
Hi! My name is Michaela and I would like to tell you about my life and how Jesus Christ gave me a new one. I asked Him to come into my heart and save me from my sins. This is what he has done for me.

1. Jesus Christ helped my parents decide to get remarried in November and then I will get to see my dad every day.
2. He helped me memorize Bible verses and say them in front of my church.
3. He helped me learn piano and play psalms and hymns and sing with grace in my heart to the LORD.
4. God cared enough about me that He gave me the victory over thinking about something bad that happened to me.
5. Now that I am saved, God gave me a peace in my heart and the truth that I am going to heaven instead of the other place.

PRAISE THE LORD!
I don't really care about the decision one way or the other (though it seems like it's just begging to start an outbreak of parent-driven, printed tit-for-tat to be distributed using children as pawns), but it seems pretty lame to me that they filed a lawsuit over it; it's not like her daughter was punished by school officials at any point for their efforts. The school's previous policy on distributing printed materials seems perfectly sensible to me.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:18 PM   #33
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It's all disingenuous. No 9 year old would spend 3 years litigating this matter. The mother wants to evangelize through her child and apparently litigate through her as well. To what end?
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:23 PM   #34
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Quote:
4. I am going to ask you to please take the time to pray the simplest prayer (which can be like) Dear Lord Jesus, please forgive me, I am a sinner and don’t want to die and burn in a pit of fire for an eternity! Please come into my heart and by my personal Lord and Savior. In Jesus name I pray.
Okay, so apparently "she" wanted to tell other elementary students to pray for forgiveness, otherwise they'll die and burn in a pit of fire for eternity. That's a good enough reason for me to not allow the flyers in school.

And, the mother wouldn't follow the already set procedure for getting flyers distributed in the school, so she doesn't even have a case here.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:22 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by onebloodonelife


Okay, so apparently "she" wanted to tell other elementary students to pray for forgiveness, otherwise they'll die and burn in a pit of fire for eternity. That's a good enough reason for me to not allow the flyers in school.




if i were the principal, i'd view this as offensive material and i'd ban it.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:17 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

if i were the principal, i'd view this as offensive material and i'd ban it.
I agree-but if I am interpreting what yolland posted correctly, that was confiscated and banned.

I can't believe the court decision approves of any of that original content, maybe what is stated in the article is all she is allowed to say.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:37 AM   #37
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The first flyer, which is what you guys seem to be referring to, was the one which the school didn't know about until a week after she'd distributed it (at which point she was told not to do that again). It was the second flyer ("Cleo") which was confiscated; then the third flyer--the one which the case technically focuses on--she apparently never even got around to bringing in, as her mother asked first if she could distribute it and they effectively said No, we told you already, you have to submit it to us for distribution (which of course it would never have been approved for, as that would be school endorsement of religion). The school's argument, as I understand it, is more one of this being an unprecedented way for printed materials to be distributed; previously they'd always seen that as their prerogative to regulate, and as such they were concerned that by granting her permission to distribute a flyer herself, they might be seen as effectively endorsing its content.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:49 PM   #38
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Here in Alabama (where we apparently don't have many Jewish people based on some "Free Your Mind" ignorance posted earlier in this thread), my 5th grade class got a talking-to by our principal because some of us were distributing "Stomp Out Lot Lizards" decals, referring to prostitutes that hang out around truck stops. I don't recall any Christian tracts being passed out in school, but all of the members of my 5th grade class were of some Christian denomination. There was a kid in my 4th grade class who was a Jehovah's Witness and didn't stand up for the Pledge of Allegience or participate in the Christmas Party (this was 1982/83) name-drawing gift swap.

~U2Alabama
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:26 AM   #39
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I'm starting to get alarmed at the rise of appeals recently concerning students' NONEXISTENT "free speech" rights in k-12 school. This is school. Back in my day, the only flyers we could pass around were for elections and clubs. All printed materials had to be submitted for approval weeks before they were to be distributed.

I just think it is interesting that these kids are saying they have first amendment rights. What about the other amendments in the Bill of Rights that also don't apply to them? Are they going to start whining about 4th amendment rights when they sneak items prohibited in class in their backpacks? GOSH! They should just shut up and study already.
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:20 AM   #40
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There is a guy at my job who leaves these flyers on the lunchroom table all the time.It bugs the shit out of me!Practice your religion at your home or in your church where people like you enjoy reading your flyers.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:14 AM   #41
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Well, I think we'd all be a bit disingenuous if we didn't admitt that personal distaste for (or approval of) the message being distributed was coloring our take on this situation.

The question has largely gone unanswered. . .would most of the posters here support a girl handing out flyers about "her two mommies." And if so, isn't the issue really about whether you or I feel the message being promoted is "worthwhile" or not? That many posters view this girl and her family's belief's with scorn is obvious. But I don't see how the fact that you think Christian belief is stupid should have any bearing on the issue.

Ultimately the issue should be about whether the school should have the right to limit what types of materials can be handed out by the students. I think that the school should have that right. I had a student in my freshman homeroom class six years ago who took it upon herself to write, edit, and print one issue of the class newspaper at home and distribute it herself at school. The entire "newspaper" was an attack on Christianity and the intellect of believers, clearly gleaned from a website somewhere. The principal of the school told her she had to stop, collected the distributed papers, and confiscated what hadn't been distributed. The student made a hue and cry about her free speech rights being violated and so on. Now granted the school I work at is a private Christian mission school so obviously we had an issue with the content, but beyond that, I think a school--including--a public school has the right to decide what students are allowed to distribute on campus.

And I do believe religious materials shouldn't be distributed by public schools.

Finally, a word on the the girl (and her family's) methodology for sharing their faith. I also find it be highly ineffective. I really do think we Christians can be a bit clueless sometimes about the best way to "get the message out." (You can read my journal entry here on Interference about my own experience going door to door with my church, and my discomfort with it). However, someone being teased or mocked because they believe something strongly does not reveal a problem with the character of the person being teased, but with those doing the teasing. There's almost the attitude among some here that she "deserves it" somehow, and I find that terribly sad. If it were one little atheist fourth grader in a Christian school (we actually have exactly this situation right now) I would never allow or approve of students mocking and teasing that student just because of their enthusiastic unbelief.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:27 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


The question has largely gone unanswered. . .would most of the posters here support a girl handing out flyers about "her two mommies." And if so, isn't the issue really about whether you or I feel the message being promoted is "worthwhile" or not? That many posters view this girl and her family's belief's with scorn is obvious. But I don't see how the fact that you think Christian belief is stupid should have any bearing on the issue.

Well I think I was being very upfront about this issue, by questioning the overall "freedom of speech" of 4th graders. I honestly don't think elementary school students know enough or are mature enough to deal with any issues outside of the three "R"s.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:48 AM   #43
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Well I think I was being very upfront about this issue, by questioning the overall "freedom of speech" of 4th graders. I honestly don't think elementary school students know enough or are mature enough to deal with any issues outside of the three "R"s.
So you'd be against the "two mommies" flyer also?

The issue of at what age people have free speech rights is an interesting question, though. I wouldn't mind seeing that explored more.

But taking easy shots at Christian fundamentalists and their strange ways, while fun for some, isn't particularly insightful.
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:19 AM   #44
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This is based on my experience, a rare ruling.....In most cases the school has some wiggle room about the distribution of literature.

For example, the School Council in my building is responsible for approving such a "mass produced" type of pamphlet or brochure. I almost wonder if there is a school rule that would come into play like this.
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:23 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
The question has largely gone unanswered. . .would most of the posters here support a girl handing out flyers about "her two mommies." And if so, isn't the issue really about whether you or I feel the message being promoted is "worthwhile" or not? That many posters view this girl and her family's belief's with scorn is obvious. But I don't see how the fact that you think Christian belief is stupid should have any bearing on the issue.
If a girl was handing out flyers about her two mommies my post would remain the same. In every thread that has been presented on "free" speech in k-12 schools, my stance has been consistent, that the "free" speech does not exist in these schools.

School is meant to be a learning environment that best provides support to meet students' needs. That does not include giving them the right to free speech. The Bill of Rights does not apply to children. Kids can't even vote! So I don't understand why they are trying to exercise first amendment rights at school. I certainly don't see kids pressing for any of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights to apply to them. So why this one??? When kids violate laws, they are tried in different courts. So why are they expecting the same rights in their schools that adults have?

Besides, the kid obviously knows nothing about advertisement. The flyers have way too much text. If she wanted to grab people's attention, graphics are key
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